If you have chronic pain, protect yourself from the holiday rollercoaster

You can't enjoy the season if your pain is off the charts

December is a non-stop rollercoaster of activity which can quickly take a toll on your pain.

It's only Tuesday and I have already treated several of my chronic pain patients this week who are exeriencing elevated levels of pain. Why? Many were on their feet for several days last week making preparations for company, buying, preparing and cleaning up after a day's worth of cooking and readying the home for friends and family.

And it's only December 3.

We have a long way to go.

For people living with chronic back pain or other diseases that affect the spine, this month can take a toll and quickly put you "on the bench" for the duration.

I know you don't have time to read my laundry list of ways to minimize your pain so here are the three most important things to do:

  • Enlist help. It's out there. Just ask family members, neighbors' kids, volunteers from church.
  • Sit down frequently, breath deeply, sip a cup of warm tea or a tall glass of ice water to stay hydrated.
  • Go to bed a full hour earlier.

If you can just do these three things for the next month, you can lessen the pain and increase the joy of this magical holiday season.